9780375701900

Straight Man: A Novel

Russo, Richard

ISBN 10: 0375701907 / 0-375-70190-7
ISBN 13: 9780375701900
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
In this uproarious new novel, Richard Russo performs his characteristic high-wire walk between hilarity and heartbreak.  Russo's protagonist is William Henry Devereaux, Jr., the reluctant chairman of the English department of a badly underfunded college in the Pennsylvania rust belt.  Devereaux's reluctance is partly rooted in his character--he is a born anarchist-- and partly in the fact that his department is more savagely divided than the Balkans.  

In the course of a single week, Devereaux will have his nose mangled by an angry colleague, imagine his wife is having an affair with his dean, wonder if a curvaceous adjunct is trying to seduce him with peach pits, and threaten to execute a goose on local television.  All this while coming to terms with his philandering father, the dereliction of his youthful promise, and the ominous failure of certain vital body functions.  in short, Straight Man is classic Russo--side-splitting and true-to-life, witty, compassionate, and impossible to put down.

Review:
First Jane Smiley came out of the comedy closet with Moo, a campus satire par excellence, and now Richard Russo has gotten in on the groves-of-academe game. Straight Man is hilarious sport, with a serious side. William Henry Devereaux Jr., is almost 50 and stuck forever as chair of English at West Central Pennsylvania University. It is April and fear of layoffs--even among the tenured--has reached mock-epic proportions; Hank has yet to receive his department budget and finds himself increasingly offering comments such as "Always understate necrophilia" to his writing students. Then there are his possible prostate problems and the prospect of his father's arrival. Devereaux Sr., "then and now, an academic opportunist," has always been a high-profile professor and a low-profile parent.

Though Hank tries to apply William of Occam's rational approach (choose simplicity) to each increasingly absurd situation, and even has a dog named after the philosopher, he does seem to cause most of his own enormous difficulties. Not least when he grabs a goose and threatens to off a duck (sic) a day until he gets his budget. The fact that he is also wearing a fake nose and glasses and doing so in front of a TV camera complicates matters even further. Hank tries to explain to one class that comedy and tragedy don't go together, but finds the argument "runs contrary to their experience. Indeed it may run contrary to my own." It runs decidedly against Richard Russo's approach in Straight Man, and the result is a hilarious and touching novel.

Review

Review:
"Russo is a master craftsman ... The blue-collar heartache at the center of his fiction has the sheen of Dickens but the epic levity of John Irving."
-- The Boston Globe

"What makes Richard Russo so admirable as a novelist is that his natural grace as a storyteller is matched by his compassion for his characters."
-- John Irving

"Russo proves himself a master at evoking the sights, feelings and smells of a town ... He has succeeded in creating characters with the emotional weight of people we've known in real life."
--The New York Times

"After the last sentence is read, the reader continues to see Russo's tender, messed-up people coming out of doorways, lurching through life. And keeps on seeing them because they are as real as we are."
-- E. Annie Proulx

"It's about time that people looking for a good read discovered the novels of Richard Russo."
-- Publisher's Weekly

"Richard Russo's novel is as simple as family love, yet nearly as complicated."
-- San Francisco Chronicle

"Self-knowledge, along with love in all its forms, from lifelong friendships to consuming sexual passions, is what this remarkably likable, beautifully written novel is all about."
-- Washington Post Book World

"Funny, bighearted, resolutely untrendy, ultimately moving ... at once a delightful entertainment and a wise handbook for living."
-- New York Newsday

From the Publisher

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

Straight Man: A Novel: Search Results

1.
Straight Man: A Novel (ISBN: 0375701907 / 0-375-70190-7)
Russo, Richard
ISBN 10: 0375701907
ISBN 13: 9780375701900
Bookseller: vladimir belskiy (alexandria, VA, U.S.A.)
Bookseller Rating: 5-star rating
Quantity Available: 1

Book Description: Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 3R-FIC3-75IQ

Bookseller & Payment Information | More Books from this Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Add Book to Shopping Basket
Price: US$ 3.63
Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
2.
Straight Man: A Novel (ISBN: 0375701907 / 0-375-70190-7)
Russo, Richard
ISBN 10: 0375701907
ISBN 13: 9780375701900
Bookseller: vladimir belskiy (alexandria, VA, U.S.A.)
Bookseller Rating: 5-star rating
Quantity Available: 1

Book Description: Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 4J-A6AP-JUWG

Bookseller & Payment Information | More Books from this Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Add Book to Shopping Basket
Price: US$ 4.73
Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
3.
Straight Man Format: Book (ISBN: 0375701907 / 0-375-70190-7)
Russo, Richard
ISBN 10: 0375701907
ISBN 13: 9780375701900
Bookseller: INDOO (Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Bookseller Rating: 4-star rating
Quantity Available: > 20

Book Description: Random House. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0375701907

Bookseller & Payment Information | More Books from this Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Add Book to Shopping Basket
Price: US$ 8.72
Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 3.50
Within U.S.A.
4.
Straight Man (ISBN: 9780375701900)
Russo, Richard
ISBN 10: 0375701907
ISBN 13: 9780375701900
Bookseller: Paperbackshop-US (Secaucus, NJ, U.S.A.)
Bookseller Rating: 5-star rating
Quantity Available: > 20

Book Description: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US. Bookseller Inventory # VR-9780375701900

Bookseller & Payment Information | More Books from this Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Add Book to Shopping Basket
Price: US$ 8.27
Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
5.
Straight Man: A Novel [Paperback] (ISBN: 0375701907 / 0-375-70190-7)
Russo, Richard
ISBN 10: 0375701907
ISBN 13: 9780375701900
Bookseller: FOURSEASONS4JOY, LLC (CHICAGO, IL, U.S.A.)
Bookseller Rating: 4-star rating
Quantity Available: 1

Book Description: Paperback. Book Condition: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW. Fast Shipping. Prompt Customer Service. Satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # 0375701907BNA

Bookseller & Payment Information | More Books from this Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Add Book to Shopping Basket
Price: US$ 8.61
Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
6.
Straight Man (Paperback) (ISBN: 9780375701900)
Russo, Richard
ISBN 10: 0375701907
ISBN 13: 9780375701900
Bookseller: The Book Depository US (Gloucester, ., United Kingdom)
Bookseller Rating: 5-star rating
Quantity Available: 10

Book Description: Random House USA Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 203 x 130 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. William Henry Devereaux, Jr., spiritually suited to playing left field but forced by a bad hamstring to try first base, is the unlikely chairman of the English department at West Central Pennsylvania University. Over the course of a single convoluted week, he threatens to execute a goose, has his nose slashed by a feminist poet, discovers that his secretary writes better fiction than he does, suspects his wife of having an affair with his dean, and finally confronts his philandering elderly father, the one-time king of American Literary Theory, at an abandoned amusement park. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780375701900

Bookseller & Payment Information | More Books from this Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Add Book to Shopping Basket
Price: US$ 13.75
Convert Currency
Shipping: FREE From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
7.
Straight Man: A Novel (ISBN: 0375701907 / 0-375-70190-7)
Russo, Richard
ISBN 10: 0375701907
ISBN 13: 9780375701900
Bookseller: Movie Mars, Inc. (Indian Trail, NC, U.S.A.)
Bookseller Rating: 4-star rating
Quantity Available: 8

Book Description: Vintage. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0375701907 The author of Nobody's Fool chronicles a singularly eventful week in the life of William Henry Devereaux, Jr., a once-promising novelist and now the middle-aged chairman of a university English department in hilarious disarray. Reprint. 60,000 first printing. Tour. Bookseller Inventory # 4329172

Bookseller & Payment Information | More Books from this Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Add Book to Shopping Basket
Price: US$ 9.86
Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
8.
Straight Man: A Novel (ISBN: 9780375701900)
Russo, Richard
ISBN 10: 0375701907
ISBN 13: 9780375701900
Bookseller: BargainBookStores (Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Bookseller Rating: 5-star rating
Quantity Available: 6

Book Description: Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 830196

Bookseller & Payment Information | More Books from this Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Add Book to Shopping Basket
Price: US$ 9.90
Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
9.
Straight Man (ISBN: 9780375701900)
Russo, Richard
ISBN 10: 0375701907
ISBN 13: 9780375701900
Bookseller: Castle Rock (Amherst, NS, Canada)
Bookseller Rating: 5-star rating
Quantity Available: 1

Book Description: Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New * All orders are processed and shipped from Las Vegas, NV USA *. Bookseller Inventory # 97803757019001.0

Bookseller & Payment Information | More Books from this Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Add Book to Shopping Basket
Price: US$ 10.27
Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 3.99
From Canada to U.S.A.
10.
Straight Man: A Novel (ISBN: 0375701907 / 0-375-70190-7)
Russo, Richard
ISBN 10: 0375701907
ISBN 13: 9780375701900
Bookseller: Nataraj Books, Inc. (Springfield, VA, U.S.A.)
Bookseller Rating: 4-star rating
Quantity Available: > 20

Book Description: Vintage. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0375701907 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Bookseller Inventory # SWATI210653548

Bookseller & Payment Information | More Books from this Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Add Book to Shopping Basket
Price: US$ 10.48
Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
View All Listings for this Book